The three-day International Conference on “Emerging Synergies in Agriculture, Food Processing and Biotechnology” was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; and Panchayati raj, Shri. Parshottam Rupala on 21st Feb 2018 at Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences (Deemed University), Coimbatore.
The Conference organized by the School of Agriculture and Biosciences of the Deemed University has a participation of more than 500 delegates and 300 papers are being presented during the three days of the Conference. The Keynote addresses are being delivered by experts from India and abroad.
Dr. Itamar Glazer, Director (Research) of Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Israel spoke on the research initiatives of Vocani Center especially in the field of drip irrigation and precision farming. Prof. Itzhak Shmulevich of Technion, Israel spoke on the application of Robotus in farm mechanization.
Dr. Yoram Oren, Zuckerberg Institute of Water Research Institute of Israel has a presentation on reuse of wastewater for irrigation and agriculture purpose.
Dr. Yafit Cohen of Volcani Institute explained how thermal images can help in farming, especially in managing micro irrigation.
Keynote addresses are given by: Prof. Hwang of PosTech University, Korea; Dr. Ravindra Kaur of IARI, New Delhi; Dr. K. P. Sudheer of IITM, Chennai; Dr. B.J. Pandian of TNAU, Coimbatore; Dr. G. S. V. Raghavan of McGill University, Canada and Dr. C. Rajasekara Murthy of Environment (Inland Waters), Canada.
Shri. Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of Government of India highlighted the synergies among water, food, health and energy and the key role of Agriculture in linking them up. He also highlighted the importance of application of modern technologies like GIS, GPS, IoT, cloud computing and electronic gadgets even wireless and mobile app for precision farming. The Minister pointed out the importance of agriculture in a country of 70% agrarian population. Shri. Rupala highlighted the schemes of Government of India aiming at farmer welfare such as Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The minister also inaugurated the poly house, constructed by the Department of agriculture, KITS for research and development.
He also mentioned that India is a big laboratory with arid, semi-arid, sem-humid, humid tropical regions within it. The Minister highlighted the need to get ready for facing climate change and also the importance of solar energy for agriculture purposes to reduce carbon emission. Shri. Parshottam Rupala mentioned about the establishment of 27 Centers of Excellence to be established in India as part of India – Israel Collaboration. Already 15 Centers are completed.
The Minister of State also appreciated Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences for establishing state-of-the-art laboratories for studies in the area of water and food technology. The polyhouse for high-tech horticulture was inaugurated by the Minister on the occasion.
While appreciating Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences for its collaboration with Israel Universities like Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion University of Haifa, Ben-Gurion University of Beersheba, Israel. Shri. Rupala stated that the Government of India and Indian Council for Agricultural Research would like to encourage the academic and research activities of KITS. The Minister also stated that he would like to have the recommendations of the conference for taking action at the Government of India level.
During the Inaugural Session of the Conference Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mannar Jawahar, Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ridling Margaret Waller, Registrar, Dr. Elijah Blessing and the Dean of the School of Agriculture and Biosciences of Karunya Institute of Technology And Sciences, Dr. S. Jacob K. Annamalai were also present.